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he never lets go

Sorry, I know things have been quiet here on my blog over the past few days.  Life has been oh-so-busy. I do apologize if you are one who has written to me and not heard back.  I have been burning the candle at both ends, and blogging has had to take a backseat.

This weekend we got hit with the nastiest stomach flu. Four kids throwing up on the same day and the rest of us enduring aching stomachs. Not my best at all. Give me a headache over vomiting any day!

Last Friday night I finished my first week of a month-long course at night school (an hour away from home).  Oh my!  I haven’t been in school since forever.  Some days I wonder if I even have a brain left.  To say that it is stretching me is an understatement.  My days are filled with studying the lessons for the tests I have to pass at the end of each week and then leaving in the afternoon to go to classes.  Then there’s still the neverending laundry pile, homeschool, grocery shopping, housekeeping, seven children to love on and a husband to thank fifty thousand times a day for holding down the fort at home.  It’s all good and we are so very thankful to the Lord that once I am done I will be able to help contribute to providing for the needs of my family each month. 

Anthony and I are finally beginning to emerge from one of the most stretching, most challenging seasons of our lives–the journey called unemployment.  Oh my goodness!  Nothing could ever have prepared us for the road which God called us to walk over the past 21 months.  As I reflect, I am amazed.  There were certainly months when we wondered how in the world we would ever make it, how we would get by, how we would pay our bills.  But you know what?  We did!  Every single time.  The Lord came through for us in ways we never imagined, using many people in our lives.

Tomorrow we begin a new season–one filled with hope and all the promises of the Living God coming to fruition in our lives.  Tomorrow my dear hubby will begin a job on an as-needed basis–doing something he absolutely loves to do–serving his Father in heaven with all his heart as a hospice chaplain.  He loves it!  Sharing the love of Christ with those who only have days or months left here on this earth is a privilege for Anthony.  He is so, so thankful to the Lord for this amazing opportunity.

As I look back and ponder all that has transpired in our lives over the past two years (and there has been a lot!), there is one thing that I can declare with all my heart because I have lived it, seen it, and experienced it in one of the deepest valleys we have ever been in….MY GOD IS FAITHFUL!

He is an amazing Father–one who sticks closer than a brother when the storms of life blow.  He is a Daddy who holds us a little tighter and brings us a little closer to Him when we are faced with trials that make us wonder how we will ever overcome.

I often hear people remind each other that God will never give us more than we can bear.  And while I do agree with that, I now know that every now and then God gives us more than we think we can handle!  As Christians we are not promised the easy road.  Nope!  We are told time and time again that we are not immune to the trials of this world.  In fact, we are promised many times over in His word that calamity and difficult times will come knocking on our doors.  We have a plaque hanging in our kitchen that reads, “Faith makes things possible, not easy.”

But oh, what glorious hope there is for those of us who put our absolute and complete trust in the Lord Jesus!  When we step out of the boat, inspite of the ravaging seas around us, and look into the face of Him who is more than able to get us to the other side…Wow!  The blessings are truly indescribable.  Fear keeps us in the boat–faith makes us jump out of it…come what may.  Sometimes, like Abraham, we have absolutely no idea what the Lord is up to, or where the road will lead…we simply must follow in complete faith and surrender knowing that God is in control, and that He never makes mistakes.

I would not change any part of our journey–not a single thing.  They say that hindsight is a wonderful thing, and I am beginning to understand that more fully now.  Looking back I see His hand upon our lives, I see His astonishing love poured out when we wondered how we could go on, I see the amazing heights and depths He reached to reassure us in our darkest hours that things WOULD be okay!

I don’t know why God allows certain things to happen.  I have no idea why He never provided employment for us when we cried out to Him with all our hearts for months and months.  Why did the Israelites have to spend years and years in the desert?  Why have God’s beloved people endured hardships that my human heart cannot even fathom over the years? No clue. I only know that every single thing He allows us to go through is ultimately for His glory, not ours.  The glory is always His.  It’s through the trials and the hard times, it’s once we finally reach the mountaintop that we can declare, “He never let me go!”

Looking back…I see His faithfulness like I never did before He called us to walk..and trust…and depend on Him explicitly.  It’s amazing–the miracles which unfold when we are so completely and utterly dependent on God for our everything. 

Has it been easy?  Not a chance!  There have been days when we were literally clinging onto Jesus by our fingernails.  There have been so many lessons learned along the way.  And while we still have a very, very long way to go in learning to depend on God at all times and in all circumstances, we are so much farther down that road than we were two years ago.  We have learned to not sweat the small stuff–it truly doesn’t matter.  And we have learned too that the things of this world really do not matter.  We are slowly but surely getting it–seek the kingdom of God FIRST–above all things–and everything else will be added to us.  God is just so good like that.  Even our children have seen and understood the faithfulness of their God in this season.  And, the Lord has taught us to embrace the challenges and the difficult times, for we know that they are for our good. He’s a sovereign God and He really can do whatever He desires with our family.

I am humbled and in awe of His great love for us. His love which knows no bounds.  His love which reaches to the heavens.  His faithfulness which reaches to the skies.  (Psalm 36:5)